White Queen

Gwyneth A. Jones, Author
Gwyneth A. Jones, Author Tor Books $19.95 (316p) ISBN 978-0-312-85492-8
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-312-89013-1
Hardcover - 312 pages - 978-0-575-60378-3
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Jones ( Divine Endurance ) turns her incisive talent toward a perennial science fiction theme: first contact with aliens. By 2038, Earth has been devastated by tectonic shifts accompanied by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The U.S. has undergone a socialist revolution, retro-viruses are rampant, and most technology relies on a powerful organic ``clay'' instead of microprocessors. American exile Johnny Guglioli, infected with a virus inimical to human tissue and the computer clay, meets cutthroat reporter Braemar Wilson, who sees Johnny as a way to get closer to aliens rumored to have landed near Johnny's adopted African home. But before she can break the story, the aliens make contact themselves, and the expected havoc breaks out. Are the aliens powerful saviors, seductive invaders, opportunistic pirates--or a bit of each? While ambassadors talk, an anti-alien group, White Queen, works behind the scenes to undermine human trust. Jones's viewpoint is always fresh and provocative, and, despite a basically human appearance, her aliens are the most convincingly alien beings to grace science fiction in years. Jones's unusual ending amply demonstrates why the British edition of this novel won the James Tiptree Award last year. This mind-bending look at meeting the alien is one readers will not soon forget. (June)
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